• Melanie Notaras

5 Deliciously Spooky Halloween Stories for Middle Grade readers ... if you dare!


Halloween is supposed to be all about scary, right? Spirits, ghosts and horror can be fascinating, and books are a safe way for kids to explore the genre. So if you're really wanting to feel the true spirit of Halloween, grab one of these spine-chilling spooky middle grade books. You can read by yourself or hold a ghost story party with a bunch of friends. Go on, pick up a book and read - if you dare. BWAHAHAHAHA! (Book titles and images contain affiliate links.)

1. Small Spaces, by Katherine Arden.

Eleven year old Ollie reads a chilling book about a girl named Beth, two brothers who loved her, and a peculiar deal made with "the smiling man," a sinister specter who grants your most tightly held wish. On a school trip to a local farm the next day, she sees their names in the graveyard. The bus breaks down on the way back to school, the teacher abandons them, night is falling and her broken digital watch suddenly starts working, with a strange message that says ... Run!

2. Half-Minute Horrors, by Susan Rich (editor).

A collection of short, but very scary horror stories for kids by authors including Lemony Snicket, R.L. Stine, Neil Gaiman, James Patterson and many more! Each story is 1 or 2 pages long, some in graphic format. How scared can you get in thirty seconds? Quite a lot! Keep the lights on when you're reading this one.

3. Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror, by Chris Priestly.

Young Edgar grows increasingly unnerved as his strange Uncle Montague spins tale after haunting tale. Creaks, groans, something being dragged across the floor in the room upstairs... is it Franz, the mysterious butler whom Edgar has never seen, or something much more sinister? The stories in this book are genuinely creepy. Kids feature predominantly in the tales, and very few of them emerge unscathed at the end. Gulp!

4. The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman.

Uniquely, comes as two versions: a novel, or a graphic novel (part 1 & part 2). Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy ... except that he's living in a graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will come under attack from the man who has already killed Bod's family...

5. Courtney Crumnin and the Night Things, by Ted Naifeh. A graphic novel series (this is volume 1).

Courtney Crumrin is forced to move into her great-uncle's creepy old mansion, but one night Courtney sees something in her room and she finds that her uncle's house is filled with mystery, creepy things and magic that she has to battle against to survive. Sometimes kids get eaten.

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